Friday, 6 April 2012

Caramelised Red Onion Tarts in a Mustard Cheese Pastry

I have been given about a dozen small red onions by my mother and as much as I like red onion sliced in my green salads, I don't often cook with them, so the question was 'what to do with so many?'.  It was either going to be a 'red onion marmalade' or 'caramelised red onion tarts'.

I was a bit surprised at the choice I made, as its not something I would ordinary choose to eat.  I tend to snug my nose at Caramelised Red Onion tarts when I see them appearing on the menu as a veggie option at reputable restaurants (not that I eat out much), but I do think its a rather lazy veggie option to be offering adventurous veg heads.  But today, I have to admit its been a while since I have enjoyed a good deep crimson tarts topped with a white cheese. 
Visually it reminded me of a Balsamic Roasted Beetroot Tarts I've made in the past. It was when I was still learning to appreciate and acquire a taste for beetroots.  Well no beetroot here today, just red onions slowly caramelised in Balsamic vinegar.
 
The cheesy mustard seed pastry cases are lovely.  If you don't fancy filling them with caramelised red onions, fill them with a vegetable of your choice: asparagus and wild garlic are in season. 
Close up of the grainy mustard seeds in the cheddar cheese pastry
and caramelised red onions cooling down.  I am entering these Tarts into this months Family Friendly Fridays hosted by Ren over at Fabulicious Food.
Caramelised Red Onion Tarts with in a Mustard Cheese Pastry
Makes 7 - 8
Ingredients for the Mustard Cheese Pastry
75g butter
175g plain flour
40g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 generous teaspoon grainy mustard
Cold water to bind
Ingredients for the red onion filling
1 tablespoon olive oil

860g or thereabout of red onions, finely sliced
6 – 8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, depending on taste
Salt and pepper to taste
200g feta cheese, or goats cheese
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180oc
Method for the Mustard Cheese Pastry
Put the flour and butter into a food processor and blitz until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs, then add in thee cheese and mustard and enough cold water to bind.  Tip onto a floured surface and bring together to make a smooth dough.  Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.  You can also do this by hand, but now that I have my food processor out I am making the most of it now that i have easy access to it.
Method for the red onion filling
Heat the oil in a wide pan, then add the onions, balsamic vinegar and season to taste.  Allow the onions to cook slowly without a lid, stirring every often for about 30 minutes or until the onions have softened, thickened and taken on a glossy appearance.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Whilst the filling is being cooked, roll out the pastry to line 8 round tartlet tins.  Mine measured around 4 inches.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pasty is cooked.  Remove and allow to cool.

When ready to make your tarts, generously spoon the caramelised onion mixture evenly into the pastry cases.  Top each tart with feta cheese or goats cheese and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Enjoy warm. 

There are a number of 'Caramelised Red Onion Tart' recipes on blogosphere and in cookbooks, I decided to adapt a recipe from Delia Smiths How To Cook: Book 2, of which I own a hard copy of too.  Original recipe can be found here.

41 comments:

  1. They look lovely, one of my favourite dishes when I eat out, some places, like you say don't have very much imagination when it comes to the veggie option, but I don't mind too much if they do it well.

    Sue xx

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    1. Yes I agree Sue, I may have to reevaluate my decision the next time I see these on the menu. Your right, if made well...

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  2. oh yum yum! lovely idea adding mustard to the pastry! I always stick to the same basic shortcrust, need to venture out for sure.

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    1. Do venture out, I've loads of flavoured pastries on this blog.

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  3. These sound delicious-love the idea of adding mustard to the pastry and the colour of the tarts with the red onion is fab!

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    1. Thanks GD. Yes adding mustard to the pastry makes it very nice.

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  4. Love these! Love caramelised onions ....i must try this pastry with mustard!!!! I made these once.... On the same wavelenght ;)
    http://crumpetsandco.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/sfogliatine-con-confit-di-cipolle-di-tropea-e-caprino/
    The recipe is in italian but i'm slowing translating my old posts... Since is started posting in english too!
    My compliments cos your blog is a real inspiration! ...for example can't wait to make the carrot ice cream ;)

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    1. Thank you so much Terry. I will sure come on over your blog.

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  5. Oh yum, I am definitely going to try those! x

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  6. This looks absolutely yummy to me. Red onions are used in my salads and roasted veggies. I think this might be a first for me.

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    1. Oh do try it Hobbit. Does take a bit of an effort, but well worth it.

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  7. I don't know how authentic it is but recipe for chicken curry I made last night called for red onions. They broke down into a lovely sweet sauce.

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    1. It sounds authentic to me. My grandmother and aunts who lived overseas always used small red onion for Indian/Pakistani 'curry style' dishes. I think when communities migrated to Europe, and other parts of the world, they adapted and white/Spanish onions were all that was availalbe to them.

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  8. Wow, delicious, a lovely starter or spring snack. Thank for linking up, Shaheen x

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    1. Thanks Ren. I am tempted to share more, but I may call it a day :)

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  9. I love the sound of these, I am a big fan of both caramelised onions and indeed tarts - so the combination sounds fabulous.

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  10. Shaheen! I'm so sorry I've been absent for so long. I've visited your blog a few times in the past few months, but I usually just had time to read. It seems like I've a lot of catching up to do! I did read that post on your new kitchen, I think it looks sweet and cozy! I hope your are well and happy with your new home and surroundings.

    Take care! (Just in case it takes some time for me to come back). The tarts look lovely. Caramelised onions sound absolutely divine!:)

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    1. Summaiyyah dear, please don't apologise. I am just as bad at the moment. My blogging is slow too as I am actively trying to look for work, been living off savings the last year - hardly any money left now. I hope that you are keeping well and come by whenever you can, its always appreciated.

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    2. Oh I understand your situation all too well. I started working three months ago and still haven't received my first pay! Thankfully I'm blessed with a free roof over my head and free meals when I want them (and when they're available, of course)- I live at the school hostel and am allowed to join their children during their meal times. The food is usually very good too, so I'm very thankful. I hope you find a good job too, Shaheen, you deserve it and anybody would be lucky to get you as their employee!

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    3. Thank you Sumaiyyah.
      I find it quite shocking that you have not received your first pay even after 3 months of working, but my husband has applied for a job here too and he has been told that is how it works should he get this job, as its a different company that deals with the payroll. Its annoying. I am pleased that you are able to get by at the moment. So take care my friend. There is one promising opportunity coming my way and it has potential, if it goes to plan I may have some relatively good news to share in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned. Until then take care of yourself.

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    4. Well, I've heard that it's normal here, to get your first pay only after three months (especially when it's your first job), so I was prepared for it. Though it does feel rather long and I can't wait for the end of the month. Oh good, I'm glad to hear that! I hope everything goes well for you, dear Shaheen. Let's pray we'll both get good news in the next week or so!

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  11. How interesting that you don't use them much - I buy red onions as a matter of course, I like the extra splash of colour :) I only get white onions when I'm doing something like a risotto where I want to keep it neutral.

    Your tarts look yummy :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel.
      Yeah, I guess it is kind of interesting, esp. as my husband is a fan of red onions: raw and cooked.

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  12. I love caramlised onion tarts. I make mini ones in a cupcake tin for picnics :)

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    1. I may have to make little mini ones too Zoe. Sounds delightful, little morsels for picnics.

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  13. Looks lovely, I love red onions, never tried red onions in a tart, but looks divine x

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  14. thanks for put a comment on my space...awesome tart.never tried this

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  15. These sound fantastic - I was particularly interested in the pastry - sounds exactly my sort of thing. I know what you mean about caramelised red onion and cheese being a bit too common on menus - which is a shame as it is a really nice combination but you don't want it every time you eat out (a bit of variety never goes astray)

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    1. Thanks Johanna.
      I was rather pleased with the pastry too, crisp as well.

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  16. Hope you don't mind, just printed the tart recipe to try, looks delicious.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Briony,
      Recipes on my blog are for sharing, so please print of as many as you wish and make. I do so hope you enjoy whatever of my recipes you make at home. Pls do let me know.

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  17. These tarts look delicious! Caramelized onions are my favorite and they sound perfect for a tart. Your mustard crust is perfect for them! Great recipe!

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    1. Thanks mjskit.
      The mustard crust sure was a hit and one i will be making again for sure.

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  18. You have a beautiful blog with so many inspiring posts! Congrats on your work!
    Would you like to keep in touch following each other?

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Laura.

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